tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 23, 2013 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
abortion, or people calling drug and alcohol clinics, i think the answer to the question is, look at human history, not only in the united states, but other countries as well. wheres been no incidents the government has developed the power to have a massive surveillance where it wasn't abused. for decades, the united states government use the surveillance authorities monitored political dissidents and opponents of the government. the fbi tried to get evidence that martin luther king was having adulterous affairs and threatened him and encouraged him to commit suicide. there were tickets of abuses. i think it is understood that human beings can exercise massive surveillance power, in the dark, with no transparency, that it will be abused. three weeks ago was reported
that one of the things that the nsa is doing is monitoring people, not who are engaged in terrorist activities, but who expressed with the u.s. government called, radical ideas. the nsa is collecting information about their visits to pornographic sites, homosexual chats that they have online with people they are not married to, and the document contains plans to use that information to publicly humiliate those people and discredit them to stop them from communicating their ideals and to the world. that is a pure incidents of abuse. it may be true that a person who never challenges the government isn't going to be threatened with that kind of abuse, because they are not challenging the government, but i think you want to create -- don't want to create a society where you won't
be abused if you stay home and never challenged government. the measure of a society is how you treat the dissidents. finally, on the issue of the answere, i think is that there is justifiable surveillance. everybody agrees that when there is evidence of somebody engaged in terrorist plots that they should be monitored. i think it should involve accountability to make sure it is not being abused. but that is not what the document shows. this document shows cold being subjected to mass, indiscriminate surveillance. look at the targeting by the u.s. of the oil giant or the organization of american states or the instances where economic ,ccords are being negotiated
what a lot of the spying is about has nothing to do about terrorism and tyranny. it is the pretext. it is about decrement it -- -- democratic manipulation. that is not the real purpose. these documents leave no doubt about that. >> i am going to have to ask you to be a bit more concise in answering. otherwise, we will not make it in the time slot. i am now changing hats. i'm going to ask a question on behalf of the liberal democrat group. my first question, amongst all of the countless targets that have been revealed, there is one ,hat is of political interest and that is a company called swi ft, processing bank data.
there are indications that say that the u.s. authorities have on authorized access, or they have created the possibility of having authorized access. do we have any more information on that? the second question, what makes a whistleblower a whistleblower is that he has exhausted all internal procedures for reporting wrongdoing. is that the case with mr. snowden? what happened with the internal procedures? my third question will be, in your introduction, using without u.s..k. as an ally of the are there any other particular european countries that you wanted to highlight? that i amuestion is wondering if you have actually seen evidence, or any indications, that any information has been used orinst political adversaries
would be allowed to use it, explicitly allowed to use it against political adversaries. thank you. bakingar as the swings , theyss banking concern reported that the usa had turned .id the swiss banking system that is the reporting that we have done so far. clearly, they are part of the target of the nsa. as far as the internal procedures and exhausting them, mr. stood in explained that he had -- mr. snowden explained that he had. he was dismissed.
therest important point is that the intelligence committee of the united states was aware of the wrongdoing, and were trying to warn the public, but were constrained by law by telling anyone about it. they were rendered impotent. they were barred from speaking about it or doing anything about it. there was no recourse running a public. system forl whistleblowers is really a farce, an illusion designed to suppress the information and not to bring it to light. hq, theas the on the gc u.k. is the closest ally. there is another level of cooperation. b, where theyier
cooperate with the nsa on a case-by-case basis. germany, france, norway, sweden, denmark, are among the countries that have participated most extensively. that.lish documents about and as far as using it against political averages, i described a story a couple of weeks ago in which the united states plotted to use evidence of sexual activity on the internet in order to destroy these people and the reputations of people they considered to be purveyors of ideas they think a radical. there's a lot of reporting we have to do in a question that i can't talk about because the documents are not yet published and the reporting is not done yet. >> thank you very much. the next question is on behalf of the conservative group.
sorry. no. first and then you. >> i thank you for your work. ofespect the individual work journalists reporting about these documents. questions.three first, with regards to the awareness, quite a lot of politicians think that citizens do not care about this. what do you think about this? , in your view,ce that this topic and this question, these fundamental instions, could play a role
the democratic decision-making process, for example, in the elections in the upcoming years? with regard to, spying activities of intelligence services, do you have some hint that there could be economic interests involved in the spying activities of intelligent services, for example of the gphq and member , so economic spying interest? >> and the third question, the work of journalists, either in much admire the work of intimate journalists,ndent but i've heard for many years that the work of journalists in europe is endangered, in that extent. my question would be how far you
would see possibilities for our politicians to safeguard free press in europe and worldwide, and if you consider going to the human rights court for the obvious and riddance -- in frenchmen street of freedom of press? thank you. infringements of the freedom of press? thank you. anecdotals evidence and also impersonal evidence that people having gauged with this reporting and have concluded that mr. snowden as heroic for what it is that he .id the interest level around the world is a testament to that. verye u.s. there were severe pulling shifts.
people are viewing threats to their freedom and privacy as being greater than the threats of terrorism. i think that continuing to make people aware of, not just the severity of the threat, but the reason why they are so personal, is instrumental in showing that people take an interest in what governments are doing to their privacy. interest,i economic as i indicated in my last response, there've been more than one dozen stories now about programs that have as their only goal, spying on economic u.s. andfor what the the west have criticized china for doing. to talk about
reporting that we have not yet done, that europe is by no means exempt when it comes to the u.s. gbhq. finally, on the question of the , there is been a successful campaign to intimidate journalists. received invitations to attend events in europe, at private events, at public events , and have been advised by lawyers that it would be dangerous for me because the charge of the u.s. government -- u.k. government is threatening me for the journalism i've been doing. that is true on the story and other stories as well. i hope to the extent that any of
you believe that the information that has been revealed is important into filling your duties as legislators that you take steps to protect the journalists, and especially the sources, who have sacrificed to bring us all to light. >> thank you. now from the conservative side. chairman.ou, madam beyond youral general observations. i would like to know whether in the receipt of information, whether you received a complete copy of the files originally from mr. snowden, or whether you got them from an interrater -- intermediary. , didu didn't get originals you get separately any other copies from any other source, or a mix of the two?
you talked a lot about documents and what they contain, i would like to press you slightly on this. what were the documents about? were there signs of reduction, particularly reductions -- redactions of the names of intelligence agents. you say on your twitter account that it was a decision to give the file to the new york times. i want to know a few got hold of that information later, or did you are ready have them? some people regard mr. stern as a hero. i cannot -- some people regard mr. snowden as a hero. i do not join him. havehe legal precedents set down clear guidance for how whistleblowers behave. there are protections for whistleblowers in the legal system.
how is it that we have no evidence that mr. snowden attempted at all to utilize what ,as legally available to him responsible of behavior of a man when security was important? finally, as a journalist, how do you determine yourself what is or is not a matter of national security? do you feel yourself qualified? i know you're no longer with the guardian? do you feel yourself equipped and qualified to make such enormous decisions? thank you. part of freedom of the press, an important part of freedom of the press and i'm stocking up this morning is that fortunately, journalist don't have to answer to government
officials about whether sources give them or how they got there information or got their sources , and those are protected from questions like the government -- from the government like the ones you just asked. mr. snowden is the source. who received information of the guardian and when they've received it is not anyone's concern. mr. snowden is identified as the source because he wanted to be identified as the source. i am not going to answer questions about who got the documents, or when we decided to share those internally. it is not for the government to intervene in a process. as far as what the documents are about, i think it is very clear with the documents are about. when mr. snowden came to us he
said he had a large amount of documents. think about this for a moment. he had a lot of choices in terms of what he could've done. he could've uploaded them all to the internet. he could have given them to an organization and asked the organization to dispose of the mall. he could afforded them to foreign services and been very rich for the rest of his life. he didn't do any of that. he came to journalists that worked with the largest news organizations in the world and assess to be judicious in going through the material and only publish what the public needed now, without endangering any lives. -- i'mblower protections not sure where you got the idea that there are protections for was a blowers in the u.s. constitution.
that is simply not true. -- whistleblowers in the u.s. constitution. that is in play not true. they are prosecuted more whistleblowers then have been prosecuted in all of u.s. history. exist in thehat u.s. government are designed to suppress information in order to keep the public from learning about it. finally, in terms of the question about how i is a journalist make these incisions -- decisions, i make them the same way that journalists make these decisions everyday. spain, the biggest journalist institution in brazil , the guardian, the new york times, the washington post are all going through the same process. it is a collaborative process. we make certain that the
information that we published doesn't put anyone's life in danger. , which is to overcome the desire of politicians. we want to make sure that people are knowing what their government are doing because that is what democracy requires. >> thank you. mrs. gomez on behalf of the foreign affairs committee. evidence anye any european leader that has been spayed on by the nsa has been iedckmailed or could be -- sp on by the nsa has been blackmailed or could be? that the different
elements of the administration oddsat odds -- were at with what would come. they were quite fearful. they were not taking responsibility. he was saying they were not aware he ordered the review. in congress, they were also dismissive. what does that mean? what is there to come? are we going to learn that the nsa has been spying on the u.s. president? >> finally, there was a reference to the intelligence and the lack of principles in that operation. you mentioned of you who are cooperative with the nsa methods. if you can give me an answer
now, give me that some other time or some other way. thank you. indicated, i am hesitant to talk about the documents that we have not yet reported. toit is irresponsible for me talk about documents that happen gone through the journalistic process. is that therey are still a lot of stories about how the nsa uses and abuses the have that arey not yet reported, but we're working on it. i would point to history, as opposed to susan governments, in which surveillance powers have been abused -- as opposed to certain governments, in which surveillance powers have been abused. it is being used for those purposes.
there are still a lot of countries where we intend to do iny specific reporting, partnership with media organizations in those countries. the only thing i can say on that is that there is reporting coming. unfortunately, if we haven't done the reporting, i am not able to be more specific. >> thank you. i have two final questions. thank you. thank you for the work they have done, which has allowed us to understand the world we are living in. i think it is very helpful. do you think that the metadata are sensitive data? there are certain european said thato have
metadata can give you a time and a place. that metadata are sensitive data , do you think there should be protected -- they should be protected in your country and in the united kingdom? protected -- are metadata protected? do you think they should be protected? >> i talked earlier about why i think the mass collection of metadata is more invasive than the interception of content, the ability to read e-mails and telephone calls. there was a decision i came out the united states that found that the nsa metadata program violated the privacy rights of americans. they were open about why metadata was so invasive.
the ideaaid was that that metadata is a list of harmless information is really antiquated. it is from it euro where communications were radically different than they are now -- era where communications were radically different than they are now. they learn more about metadata -- about people from metadata than they do about content surveillance. plays a very important role, but it is the u.k. through their invasion into all sorts of systems, including controversial means of hacking that is a primary threat to the privacy of european citizens, when it comes to their telephone
and e-mail communications. that is more so than the nsa. >> thank you. the last speaker on the list. >> thank you. i come from sweden. programk there was a showing how the swedish security agency are very intimately connected to the nsa. would be an active part in breaking into the information? . that was a new revelation that shocked people in sweden. i am happy to tell you that i created a lot of attention in sweden. we have the government basically saying that not all federal laws of and followed. revelations?e
be will thereuld swedes on that thing? there be morell on the involvement of the european government? i think that is important here. you mentioned not jeopardizing lives. can i feel confident that you're thinking about your own security and the security of everybody else affected, so that it is not a theoretical option, as far as , that theyrvices could quiet you by killing you off? thank you for that concern.
i'm glad you asked about the swedish officer. we spent a lot of time talking about metadata this morning. that thee revelations authorities in sweden demonstrated was that the spying, and the mass indiscriminate spying goes beyond metadata. one of the reports was about the that allows the closest surveillance partners access to the program. this is nothing to do with metadata. this is about storing e-mails, , and isng them it will actually the content of communications that is being done on the internet. it is a part of how privacy is been invaded. content programs
and nudges metadata. as far as you being governments are concerned, it is true that governments in germany and france express indignation when we did our first report that the nsa was targeting their country, only to have it turn out that they were cooperating with the nsa. time, nobody can compete, certainly not in europe, when it comes to the nsa with resources and the objective and emission -- the mission. is been the reporting about european governments, and that will continue. but the u.s. and the u.k. are on different levels when it comes to the ability and the desire to do so. finally, when it comes to my security and the security of the people.
there are multiple copies of documents in various places around the world, very safe and very secure. a lemonade and someone who is working on them would not impede the ability to do the reporting. i have been particularly brazil whose government is appreciative of this reporting and who understands the need to protect the free press. i think we all see as often as we can that this reporting is going to happen. you very much. we have exhausted our list of speakers. i would like to thank you very much for your time and for your willingness to answer our questions. ishink that everybody
waiting with great curiosity and interest for further onlications, in particular the issues you said you couldn't answer questions on because it has not yet been published. as a final remark, i think one of the things that set a democracy apart from an authoritarian we also have democratic oversight. also parliamentary oversight. do what we can. we would be truly grateful for any information if you would feel the urge to share that with somebody and. thank you very much. thank you for your time. that concludes the session. goodbye. [applause] [captioninrf